RISK-TAKING FOR GOD
Lord, Your power to deliver is spectacular.
Read ACTS 7:20–38
20 “At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child.[a] For three months he was cared for by his family. 21 When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. 22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.
23 “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. 24 He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. 25 Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. 26 The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’
27 “But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? 28 Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’[b] 29 When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.
30 “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. 31 When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say: 32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’[c] Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.
33 “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’[d]
35 “This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 He led them out of Egypt and performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness.
37 “This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’[e] 38 He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living words to pass on to us.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God’ (William Carey).
Stott comments that Stephen’s third epoch (20–43) is dominated by Moses, through whose ministry God kept his promises to Abraham (J Stott, The Message of Acts, 1991, p134). Key to Stephen’s bold argument to the Sanhedrin is that a holy place is not holy in its own right but is where God is to be found – and that can be anywhere, as Moses discovered during his life. God is not trapped in the temple, but this means seeing things in a new way (see the Sanhedrin’s objection to the apostles’ preaching in 13,14). Moses gave up a kingdom to lead his people out of Egypt into the desert on a great adventure for God.
It is easy to be an armchair theologian, but to step out in faith and to do what God has called you to do is a very different kettle of fish. In 1880 a young Christian graduate was a teacher in a school run by German missionaries in British Malabar in India. When the missionaries left they handed over the school to him. He wanted to get its programs accredited by the British educational authorities, but the English inspector refused because he was teaching the Bible in the morning assemblies. ‘If I cannot teach the Bible, there is no reason to run the school’, said the young man. He prayed and went to meet the Director of Public Instruction in Madras. God went ahead of him and they agreed that he could do the Bible teaching an hour before the school started. Many young people, including Hindus, came to the Lord. God blessed him, and he became an Inspector of Schools, the first Indian Director of Public Instruction in Madras and a member of the Governor’s Council. This is the story of my great-grandfather!
Can you trust God to look after you, whatever problem you are facing? He is our Immanuel who will accompany us into the unknown tomorrow!
Pray for God’s help, guidance and comfort in your problems. As Job said, ‘I know that my redeemer lives’ (Job 19:25).
Lord, open our eyes so that we can see more clearly how tremendously You used Moses to accomplish the impossible.
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